17 MARCH 2014
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Clearly, dealing with the Italians is not as straight forward as with the Air Berlin investment.
Asked in an interview how confident he was at this stage of the deal going through, James Hogan said: "It's 50-50."
"We had also entered into due diligence with other airlines in the past and walked away."
Hogan said that the deal could only go ahead if Alitalia met Etihad's criteria on costs, profitability, restructuring, network and strong management.
Talks between the airlines intensified last month and sources close to the matter said that Etihad might be interested in buying a stake of up to 40% in the Italian carrier.
A deal with the Italian airline will allow Etihad access into Europe's fourth-largest travel market. For Alitalia, this would bring in resources it needs to invest in a new strategy based on long haul routes.
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